Tomorrow begins week 2 in Ghana.
We returned today from our weekend visit to Seva, the village that I lived in for 15 weeks in 2007. It was wonderful and strange and a bit sad to be back in Seva. I spent many hours there feeling isolated from friends and family, and this time I was able to share the experience of Seva with three people that I love. The experience overall was a good one. Emperor took us around to the villages where the Kekeli women all lived. I was able to greet most of the women whom I had taught 3 years ago. The reaction of the women was great. They would recognize me and then shout and grab my hand, pulling me in for a hug or a handshake, pushing me away to confirm I was really there, and pulling me in again once more. One woman, Monica, looked at Jason and told him he could go, but that I would be staying. It was very sweet, and all the interactions were filled with warmth, jest, and remembrance.
The village of Seva has changed, there is now electricity in the village and to the clinic. There are three new buildings: one is for the volunteers, one is a family planning clinic, and another a kitchen. The pharmacy in the clinic is well stocked. And mostly, for good and for bad, the people remain the same. Dada and Emperor were telling us stories of ways that people are changing. How men are helping women with the physical labor more. That after seeing a drama put on by the Kekeli women regarding alcoholism, the men are drinking less. I am hopeful and skeptical in the same breath. Regardless, it felt wonderful to be back in a place that I once called home. It was incredibly special to be able to share what was once my daily life with good friends, for the days to be filled with laughter and storytelling. While my experience in 2007 was a good one, it was good in the way of being deeply challenging. To be truthful it was filled with many tears as I worked through the loneliness of being in a rural village mostly without a companion who understood my outside view. And being back in Seva I was reminded of this deep visceral feeling I once had. This visit I was able to enjoy the peace and solitude offered at Seva, and the remembrance of so many sounds, sights, and scents.
We went to a funeral on Saturday, where Jess and Steph were able to experience their first chicken dance. They danced beautifully. We visited the main village, traveled around, played soccer with the kids, drank some cold and not so cold drinks, and read and relaxed around the community table. We made a friend from Spain named Anna, who had a blunt and refreshing world view that I enjoyed. Anna and Emperor will be joining us in Akatsi on the 20th for the graduation of the Kekeli women.
We are each learning some Ewe, the local language. Mia ga dogo. See you later.
Liv, Jason, Steph and Jess